Prayer Plaza marker celebrates the Barrs
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Feb 09, 2014 | 627 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Edmond and Rebecca Barr Celebrated
CHURCH OFFICIALS, interested parties and members of the Church of God attended the dedication ceremony of the marker honoring Edmond and Rebecca Barr at the Church of God International Offices Friday afternoon. The dedication was in cooperation with the Office of Black Ministries.  Banner photo, DELANEY WALKER
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The Church of God International Offices in cooperation with the Office of Black Ministries celebrated and honored the lives of Edmond and Rebecca Barr Friday afternoon.

Church officials and interested parties gathered at the Prayer Plaza for a marker dedication.

Black Ministries coordinator Dr. Kenneth Hill said the idea for the marker was brought to the Black Ministries Advisory Committee by Bishop J. Lee Pugh.

General Overseer Mark L. Williams, Grady Murphy and third Assistant General Overseer Wallace J. Sibley addressed the Barrs’ work to further the mission of the Church of God.

According to church records, Edmond and Rebecca Barr were the first missionaries to take the Church of God outside of continental America.

They “experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit” at the Pleasant Grove Camp Meeting in Durant, Fla. Both felt the Lord wanted them to spread the good word in the Bahamas.

Now, 105 years later, the couple has been honored for their work within the Church of God.

Williams said the marker will provide an opportunity for parents to share the Barrs’ story with their children.

“It was there in [the camp meeting], they were licensed and commissioned to be the very first people of color not only to be licensed in the Church of God, but would begin multinational work,” Williams said in a video uploaded to Youtube on Jan. 31.

Officials intend the marker to encourage those who visit the Prayer Plaza.

“On this marker, will be very important signings and words from the book of Hebrews that reminds us we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,” Williams said. “And inspired by their faithfulness, it challenges us in this 21st century to lay aside every weight and the sin that besets us, to run with patience that is set before us and look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

Proclamations by both the state and city were read by Dr. David Roebuck, director of Cleveland Vice Mayor Avery Johnson.

Retired combat wounded veteran Carlton Cannon delivered military distinctions. He placed a wreath beside the marker before addressing the crowd.

Cannon expressed his joy over the recognition of the Barrs. He said he was proud to be a member of the Church of God.

Recording artist Janice Hill provided special music before Sibley gave a dedicatory address. Dr. Wayne Solomon, administrative bishop of Florida-Cocoa Church of God, led the crowd in a litany of dedication.

“With appreciation to the many ministers, members, and friends of the Church of God Colored Work, Church of God Black Ministries and of the Church of God, whose international ministries have enabled us to appreciate diverseness,” Solomon said.

“We dedicate this marker,” the crowd replied.

Solomon continued through the litany.

“Recognizing the Barrs’ love, faith, hope and expectation of continued growth and expansion of the church, this marker will be a memorial for all who visit offering praise, confession and thanksgiving to God,” Solomon said.

“We dedicate this marker,” the crowd replied.

The marker was dedicated “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Second Assistant General Overseer J. David Stephens closed the celebration out with a benediction.